Wading Through Momma Hood

Mommahood Without a Momma

April 3, 2018

Photo Cred: @kristalee.photography

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This April marks ten years since my mom passed away. It was in 2008 and right before I was to graduate high school.  I can’t even begin to describe how devastating this was for me.

I have had to experience a lot of milestones in life without my mom: Senior Prom, High School graduation, moving into college, my first boyfriend, later marrying said boyfriend, having babies, and raising children. These are just the big events in my life where I have missed and needed her. There are also all the heartbreaking times like my miscarriages, times where me and my husband are fighting, or the times where I get really sick and I still want my momma. All of these are tough but the hardest thing by far has been trying to become a momma without my momma.

 

When my first, Emery, was born I was so emotional leading up to it. My mom wasn’t going to be there and my daughter would never know her. This pain manifested  in ways that made me bitter to where didn’t even want my husbands mom near Emery when she was born. This definitely wasn’t healthy. I just didn’t know how I was to become a momma when my example was gone.

My mom always did this thing when one of my sisters had a baby.  She would be there for the birth and then stay a week after to help with the transition and take care of them. I wasn’t going to have that.I did have a good back up however, my sisters.  They came through for me big time on this!But who was I going to call when I couldn’t figure out why Emery won’t stop screaming, or when it comes time to start feeding her food what do I feed her and how much.? What about all the other details like how to sleep train, potty train, and all the things I need to teach her to be able to tackle life as she grows and changes?



 

My mom taught me a lot of things growing up like how to tie my shoes, how to be respectful to adults, how to work hard at everything you do and how to trust in God with all your heart. All of these things are important but the one thing she never taught me was how to live without her.

I learned a few things through these past four and a half years of mommahood without my momma to help me cope and become the best mom I can be.

When we lose our mothers we learn a few things through that grief. 1.We learn how strong we really are 2. you will always need your mom but you get used to her not being there 3. you will find out how resilient you really are and 4. you will learn to be there for yourself. That last part can be a bit unhealthy. I held everything in and thought no one could understand me or help me the way my mom could. I mean how could they? They weren’t hormonally programmed to. So it was a slow process for me but I learned to admit I can’t do everything on my own and that I don’t know everything.  It’s okay not to know everything the instant you become a mom. We don’t magically know all the answers once our baby is born. Once I began admitting I needed help and more importantly ACCEPTING that help, my life and my grief became easier.



In no way does anyone replace your mom but other moms can help give you insight. For me this came mostly from my two sisters. Between the two of them I feel like I was set alright. My sister Shannon is my go-to pediatrician for literally anything and she is as close to my mother as I can get when it comes to parenting. She parents a lot like her and not to mention, she was 18 when I was born. My sister Kim is my calm and voice of reason, and both fill voids of motherly wisdom and praise. So even though it’s not your mother, having other moms walk along side you can help.

He may not understand what you’re going through but he understands how hard being a parent for the first time is. I mean, he is going through first time parenting with you. Learn to talk through what you/re feeling emotionally with him and allow him to help when and where he can with your baby. Allow him to comfort you and take care of you from time to time. As mommas we feel we have to uphold the image of being strong and that we can do it all ourselves.We are strong but we have a life partner there to help hold us up when we can’t manage to.

I would not have been able to survive my momma’s death if I didn’t have my faith. My mom was a very quiet introvert but she taught me silent strength and how to stay strong in your faith in tough times. She showed me how to show the love of Christ to others without needing praise for it. She taught me the greatest gift you can share with your kids is Jesus. These are the things I will pass to my kids. This is part of the legacy she left to me and I will share this gift daily with my kids. I want them to see Jesus in their momma just as I saw Him in mine.



Another thing that my mom left me that I know I can give to my kids is presence. Be there.  Be active.  love unconditionally. All those other details and questions of mommahood pale in comparison to this. I never doubted if my mom loved me or cared about what I was interested in.  I never doubted if she was proud of me. This is one of the greatest gifts I could give my children. So I will be present and constantly let my kids know how much I love them and how proud of them I am.

As hard as it is to go through mommahood without my momma, these five things have helped me survive. My kids may never physically meet their Nana but they will know who she is through me and through the legacy she’s left for me to pass on to them.  So if you’re trying to figure this mommahood thing out without your mom just admit you may need some help, rely on others and your husband, depend on your faith, and be so so present in the life of your kids.

With Grace and Gumption,

Megan

Mummyitsok

 

 

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27 Comments

  • Reply Liz April 6, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    You literally put me in tears! You are such a strong mama and I can’t even imagine life without mine. Thanks for the beautiful read and I know it will encourage other mamas out there going through this. Just beautiful.

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 6, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      Aww thank you so much Liz! I really hope that it does.

  • Reply Stephenie April 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    ” My kids may never physically meet their Nana but they will know who she is through me and through the legacy she’s left for me to pass on to them.”

    And then then tears started.

    Great post. I am sure your mom is smiling down on you and your kids.

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 6, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you so much Stephenie I pray she is 🙂

  • Reply Cassandra April 6, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    This made me so emotional. I still have my mom but losing her is one of my biggest fears. I know that pain never goes away.

  • Reply Caylissa April 7, 2018 at 2:09 am

    You are so strong; I can not imagine life without my mom. Great read and advice for someone going through anything similar!

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 7, 2018 at 3:48 am

      Thank you Caylissa.

  • Reply Jerrica April 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    Wow! And I thought it was hard having my mom long-distance. Thank you for sharing–What a moving story! I have my mom but lost my dad a few years back. I love the points you made too. Very short and sweet and to-the-point. I love how simple the message was, yet somehow you invoked empathy by laying out your experiences. Art at its finest. Keep it up, girl!

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 8, 2018 at 4:51 am

      Thank you so much Jerrica! This was encouraging. 🙂

  • Reply Reverend Rae April 7, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Megan, I can really relate to your life experience. My own dear mother died in a car accident when I was 12 years old. Seeing her beautiful 31 year old body lying in a coffin left me with the feeling of “Carpe Diem, Baby, this life can be over but quick!” And, so my life has been lived in high adventure mode ever since. I’m about to turn 66 & can honestly say that I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do in this life so far. Last weekend, my son was going through my father’s home getting ready to sell it and he came across a poem which my mom had written to my father when they were in college, along with a journal, – things I had never seen before – what a treasure and definitely written voices from the past. Guess the most difficult part for me now is that I can no longer remember what my mother’s voice sounded like & there are no recordings of her. How blessed you have been to have your sisters in your life.

  • Reply Emma T April 7, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    These are some great tips, and definitely having someone else to lean on/experiencing the same thing helps. I lost my mum 4.5 years ago when my son was 3. I’m so glad he had 3 years with her and her with him, but there’s so much about him she would have been proud about, it’s sad to think she’s not here. Luckily I’ve got my brother living nearby so we can support each other (my husband’s a bit useless at that kind of stuff)

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 8, 2018 at 4:50 am

      Im so glad your son was able to have a few years with her. It is difficult and I am sure she would have been proud. Definitely lean on your brother in hard moments. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Christine April 7, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    This post is heartbreaking and made me cry. Beautiful advice, and I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Reply Eileen fusco April 8, 2018 at 12:31 am

    I love your site. I lost my mom when I was 25 so your blog touches me deeply. It is difficult to go through all of life’s moments without her.

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 8, 2018 at 4:47 am

      Thank you. Yes it is so hard! Just want to pick up the phone and call her still.

  • Reply Holly April 9, 2018 at 1:49 am

    I can’t imagine how different it would be to parent without my mom around. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  • Reply Danielle April 11, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    This is so heartbreaking. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this. I am sure it was difficult to write as it brought tears to my eyes from reading it. xoxo

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply itisreal.net April 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Wow! Thanks for such a heartfelt and meaningful blog post. This was very eye opening and thought provoking.

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 12, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  • Reply Kelsey @ Raising Little Wild Ones April 12, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    What a beautiful post! You had me in tears almost instantly! Being present and making sure our kids know they are loved is definitely one of the best gifts we can give our kids!

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 13, 2018 at 4:14 am

      Thank you so much! You are so right!! 🙂

  • Reply Tracey April 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    You are a strong mom for realizing all of this. Its good that you had other people to help you.

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 14, 2018 at 4:51 am

      Thank you!!

  • Reply Mummyitsok April 16, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Some great tips! I can’t imagine not having my mum around. Even as a grown up I still need her! #readysetlink

  • Reply Cece @ Four Girls Eight Names April 25, 2018 at 1:30 am

    This is beautifully written– thank you for sharing your story. I lost my father before my children were born, and I always wished he was there to know and love them, and they him. Sending you strength!

    • Reply withgraceandgumption.org April 25, 2018 at 2:22 am

      Thank you so much! I wish the same for my kids. It’s tough.

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